Genius Sports has brought exciting news to South African bettors after it acquired exclusive soccer data for betting operators in the country.
The sports data technology company announced on July 3 its exclusive partnership with data rights holder Football DataCo. The partnership grants Genius Sports the exclusive rights to supply and sublicense to legal South African betting operators the official match data from professional soccer leagues in England and Scotland.
With extensive data in hand, sportsbooks in the country can start offering accurate pre-match and in-play betting odds on all English and Scottish divisions, including the Premier League, the three divisions of English Football League, and the Scottish Professional Football League, among others.
Steven Burton, managing director of Genius Sports, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Football DataCo in South Africa, growing the global profile of English and Scottish football while enabling licensed betting operators to offer world-class products to their customers. The extension of our partnership will also ensure betting on their competitions continues to be safe, transparent, and regulated within the rapidly expanding South African market.”
Adrian Ford, general manager of Football DataCo, said:
“South Africa is a significant and growing market for football betting. With its strong distribution capabilities and understanding of the local market, Genius Sports was our preferred choice to supply high quality Official Data to regulated betting operators and their customers.”
This is not the first time these two companies agreed with a deal. Football DataCo, together with Genius Sports, launched in 2014 an integrity monitoring provision, which monitors odds movements in English and Scottish soccer divisions to detect signs of match-fixing.
Data for In-Play Betting
In-play betting—one of the many sports betting options available to punters—relies crucially on second-by-second data to be offered by Genius Sports. This information could include what time a player scored or where a player took a shot. Since the reality of the game changes every second, odds of in-play bets have to adjust accordingly as well.
Craig Mucklow, a sportsbook veteran, said:
“The challenge as we all grow is ensuring we track the data and retain the knowledge of each market nuance while accounting for any possible out of the ordinary occurrence. This is difficult to do, and any shortcomings results in opportunities for bettors to take advantage of soft lines.”
In order to adjust the bets fairly and quickly, sportsbooks require instant access to accurate and reliable data. After all, data-reliant computer algorithms calculate those odds. Through the partnership with Football DataCo, Genius Sports can offer South African sportsbooks access to large compilations of official soccer data. As Genius Sports’ Burton once said, “As the world moves in this in-play betting market, I think official data becomes even more important.”
Growing RSA Betting Market
The partnership between the two companies will result in additional wagering options for the growing South African sports betting market. This is evidenced by a statistical report by the country’s National Gambling Board in 2017.
The betting sector—combining both horseracing and sports sector—filled 18.9 percent of the total gross gambling revenue (GGR) of ZAR26.961 billion generated in the fiscal year 2017. The same sector’s GGR, which amounted to ZAR5.085 billion, also increased by 14.3 percent from that of last year.
There is also an increasing amount of money staked on South African gambling facilities, especially on sportsbooks. According to the same report, South Africans wagered a total of ZAR372.987 billion with 12.2 percent coming from the betting sector. In addition, the total betting turnover for the fiscal year 2017—ZAR45.355 billion—was almost double the turnover total of ZAR24.49 billion from three years before.
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